Family Says Explorer in Search of Lost Tribe Has Gone Missing

Family Says Explorer in Search of Lost Tribe Has Gone Missing

A helicopter pilot who dropped Allen off in the jungle a number of weeks ago is now trying to find him, according to the BBC.

The father of three has no phone or Global Positioning System service but was expected back in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby on Sunday for a flight to Hong Kong, where he was due to give a speech to the Royal Geographic Society.

Benedict Allen's family have not heard from him since then, and hold grave fears for his safety after the seasoned explorer failed to board his flight out of Port Moresby.

His agent Joanna Sarsby told the Daily Mail: "He is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up".

He said that it was somewhat worrying that he has no obvious means of returning to the "outside world".

The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner, who had travelled to Papua New Guinea with Allen, said he understood the pilot was tracking Allen's route from his starting point in a remote area called Bisoria.

"Either I must paddle down river for a week or so - or enlist the help of the Yaifo, as I did last time". So, if this website or my Twitter account falls more than usually silent, I'm due back mid November. He was travelling alone and wasn't carrying a satellite phone or any Global Positioning System devices. Or anything much else. I grow older but no wiser, it seems.

Mr Allen with BBC correspondent Frank Gardner and members of the Kandengi village during filming of Birds of Paradise The Ultimate Quest in Papua New Guinea
British explorer missing in headhunter tribe's jungle

Mr Allen's sister, Katie Pestille, told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "He knows all about that survival stuff".

In a post on his website before setting off titled "I may be some time", the 57-year-old said he was looking to meet with the tribe 30 years after discovering them for the first time.

"He may not be a young man any more but he is very fit".

"He was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe - possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch".

Mr Allen's friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, who travelled to Papua New Guinea with him twice a year ago, said: "I would say the chances are that Benedict is going to be fine, I hope those aren't famous last words". He never takes a phone with him - he believes in living like the locals. "For him not to come back is really odd".

The U.K.'s Foreign Office has said it is working with local authorities to locate Allen.